Five-year Goals and Associated Interim Benchmarks

In January 2017, the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina unanimously approved Higher Expectations, a five-year Strategic Plan for the UNC System. The Plan calls on the UNC System to achieve ambitious goals in access, student success, affordability and efficiency, economic impact and community engagement, and institutional excellence and diversity.

Progress on these goals and metrics will be achieved through the hard work and commitment of institutional leaders, faculty, and staff. In that spirit, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics has identified these contributions that North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.

Prioritize

Rural and Low-income Enrollments

By the 2021 academic year, increase the number of students from Tier 1, Tier 2, and low-income schools in Tier 3 enrolled in NCSSM’s residential and virtual learning programs (online and IVC) by 15% over fall 2016 levels.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: While we are below target on this goal for the past academic year of 2019-20, this is mostly due to a dip in enrollment in one of our distance education programs, taught via interactive videoconferencing (IVC). Trends from increases in enrollment in our online program and admissions efforts in our residential program indicate a substantial increase in the number of students served from Tier 1 and 2 counties in 2020-21 and for the incoming class of 2023. Residential and online enrollment of Tier 1 and 2 students has increased approximately 10% and 5%, respectively, for the classes of 2021 and 2022. We expect the following reporting year of 2020-21 to trend upward closer to our target goal.

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Enrollment of Underrepresented Minority Students

By the 2021 academic year, increase the number of URM students enrolled in NCSSM’s residential and virtual learning programs (online and IVC) by 25% over 2016-17 academic year levels.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: While we are a bit below target on this goal for the past academic year of 2019-20 (though steadily up from baseline), trends from increases in enrollment in our online program and admissions efforts in our residential program indicate a substantial increase in the number of URM students in 2020-21 and for the incoming class of 2023. Residential and online enrollment of URM students has increased about 5% for the class of 2022 and by 7% for the class of 2023 over class of 2021 enrollment numbers. With these increases in percentages of URM students in recent classes and higher overall enrollment, we expect the following reporting year of 2020-21 to trend upward to meet or exceed our target goal.  

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NCSSM Graduates Earning Undergraduate and/or Graduate Degrees in STEM Fields

By the 2022 academic year, 70.7% of all NCSSM graduates will have earned their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in a STEM, health sciences, or STEM education field.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: Recognizing its obligation to energize economic development in North Carolina, NCSSM will increase the proportion of graduates who earn STEM, health sciences, or STEM education degrees to 70 percent. The school will increase opportunities for students to engage in research, mentorships, and internships; will increase computer science and interdisciplinary STEM course offerings; and will expand its STEM career-focused speaker series.

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Partnerships with School Districts in Rural and Low-income Counties

By the 2021 academic year, increase by 20 (with at least 15 being in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and low-income schools in Tier 3) the number of schools or school systems with which NCSSM has an affiliated, cooperative, or engaged partnership, as defined in NCSSM’s Strategic Plan. This would increase the number of partnerships to 95, with 63 being Tier 1, 2, and low-income Tier 3 schools or LEA’s.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: As with several of our other metrics, progress towards this goal has dipped with a reduced enrollment in the IVC distance program for the reporting year as well as a small decline in dual-enrollment for our online program with certain home high school districts. We expect recent increases in enrollment in these programs to move us back towards positive trends.

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Opportunities for Students to Participate in Real-World/Applied Learning through Research, Mentorship, Internship, Entrepreneurial, and Other Learning Opportunities

By the 2021 academic year, NCSSM will increase student participation in research, mentorship, internship, entrepreneurial, and/or other real-world learning opportunities by 20% over the 2016 academic year.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: NCSSM will increase participation in research, mentorship, internship, entrepreneurial, and/or other real-world learning opportunities by 20% over the 2016 academic year. The school will ensure that each NCSSM student will engage as a thinker, maker, or doer in an experience that requires the application of knowledge and skills to address challenges in the world beyond the classroom.

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